Jones rues a missed opportunity from the spot at Grimsby

Luke Gambin puts in a challenge against Grimsby this afternoon.
Luke Gambin puts in a challenge against Grimsby this afternoon.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones was left to rue a missed opportunity after Danny Hylton saw his injury time penalty saved at Grimsby Town this afternoon.

With the game almost up, home defender Gavin Gunning conceded a spotkick for handball inside the area, giving Hylton the chance to win it.

However, his effort was parried by keeper James McKeown ensuring the game finished 1-1, as Jones said: “After 95 minutes I’m disappointed if I’m honest because with the late penalty you think we can win it.

“It was pretty much an even game, we were nowhere near where we needed to be first half with intensity levels, but never looked under any danger or anything.

“Second half, we didn’t start particularly well and I was going to change stuff, I just couldn’t get the change on, until they scored.

“We didn’t defend properly, didn’t defend our box well enough, and then we scored and there was only one team going to go on and win it.

“We got the goal, we’re pushing, had chance after chance to win the game and then obviously think you’re going to win it when you have the penalty, but we missed the penalty,

“Danny’s been brilliant for me, scored all his penalties, been absolutely understanding, but that’s a missed opportunity for us.”

Although the penalty was repelled by McKeown, Hylton nodded the rebound into the net, only for the goal to be disallowed by official Mark Haywood for an apparent push by Ollie Palmer on Mariners' centre half Danny Collins.

When asked for his view on the incident, Jones continued: “It’s soft, but you can see why and after he’s given such a late one, he wouldn’t want to miss another one like that.

“But he gave us our opportunity to win the game and we should have won the game.

“A penalty you expect to score and that would have given us a wonderful thing. As second half we were a lot more at it, we pressed a lot more and there was only side ever going to win that game.”

However, Palmer felt that he was wrongly adjudged to have fouled his man in the race the rebound, saying: “Apparently there was a push in his back, but I don’t get that, I’ve never seen one of them given before.

“Personally I don’t think the ref had the best game today, as he (Hylton) got there, headed it in.

“I can’t really comment too much on the ref, but he had one of those days where I don’t think he made all the right decisions, he wasn’t consistent enough but we’ve come away with a draw.”

New keeper Stuart Moore couldn’t see why the goal wasn’t allowed to stand either, adding: “It’s very frustrating, their keeper’s saved it, we’ve hit in the rebound, I'm not sure what it was given for, but it’s a chance late on to finish the game and we couldn’t take it.

“We take the point and go again though.”

However, Palmer backed Hylton, who has netted 14 goals for Luton this term, along with both of his last two penalties, to quickly get over his miss.

He added: “Danny Hylton has been fantastic for Luton this season, and people do miss penalties. He’s got a fantastic return for the club this season, it's just one of those things and I'm sure he’ll dust himself down and kick on against Yeovil and Crawley on Saturday."